My latest piece for ComputerWeekly.com looks at the use and limits of decision-support software in healthcare. It certainly has a role; the question is how much it can do, and how much needs to be dealt with by medical professionals.
NHS Direct‘s replacement NHS 111 has, at least initially, made heavier use of software, but is now making greater use of medical professionals. But any software-driven service is likely to be overly cautious, according to my interviewees. “It wasn’t known as NHS Redirect by the ambulance service for nothing,” says Janette Turner of the University of Sheffield.
Interestingly, none of the three experts I spoke to thought that software would ever replace medical staff, although they hoped it will make healthcare professionals more efficient, effective and accurate: the medics of the future are more likely to be cyborgs rather than robots.